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Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

Key Takeaways

PRP is a modified solution which contains plasma at a concentration of 2 to 8 times higher than unfiltered blood.

This concentration contains many essential growth factors and can promote cell regeneration and soft tissue remodeling.

PRP growth factors promote hair regrowth by stimulating cell regeneration and increase the follicle`s survival.

PRP treatment works well for Alopecia Areata patients and less severe AGA patients specially when combined with other treatments.

PRP growth factors promote hair regrowth by stimulating cell regeneration and increase the survival of the follicle.

What is PRP

Our blood consist of red blood cells (giving the blood its red color which makes up about 41% of the blood), white blood cells and platelets (involved in immunity and wound healing which makes up about 4% of the blood) and a yellowish liquid carrying the blood cells called plasma (roughly makes up 55% of the blood). The plasma is the liquid portion of the blood mostly made up of water and proteins.

PRP growth factors promote hair regrowth by stimulating cell regeneration and increase the survival of the follicle.

Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (PRP) is a very popular and promising mode of treatment in the field of dermatology. It is widely used in facial reconstructive surgery, oral surgery, orthopedics, scar treatment, rejuvenation and hair loss. This treatment involves obtaining blood from the patient, modifying it to increase the concentration of platelets and reinjecting the solution to the area of concern. While this treatment is very popular in the rejuvenation and hair loss market, it does have its limits and should be recommended to the right hair loss patient who will benefit from it. In this guide, we will discuss the basics as well as efficacy of this treatment for the right types of hair loss. The procedure involves obtaining anywhere from 10 to 22 mL of blood and combining it with an anticoagulant agent and centrifuging it. The blood components are separated when the blood is placed in a centrifuge and as a result they can be extracted. The red blood cells are discarded and the process is repeated again to increase the concentration of platelets and growth factors.

PRP contains plasma at a concentration of 2 to 8 times higher than unfiltered blood. This concentration contains many essential growth factors that can promote cell regeneration and soft tissue remodeling. These growth factors include Platelet derived growth factors, vascular endothelial growth factors, epidermal growth factors, fibroblast and connective tissue growth factors and insulin like growth factors. These growth factors can also result in cell proliferation and angiogenesis (creation of new blood vessels).

PRP is a modified solution which contains plasma at a concentration of 2 to 8 times higher than unfiltered blood.

PRP for Hair Restoration

PRP has shown promising results for patients suffering from both male and female AGA as well as Alopecia Areata. PRP growth factors promote hair regrowth by stimulating hair follicle cell regeneration and restarting the hair`s anagen phase as well as promoting angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) to increase the follicle`s survival.   

Treatment Protocol

In order to see optimal results, multiple treatments are necessary as some studies have shown minimal improvements due to insufficient treatment sessions. Therefore, multiple injections are necessary to see significant improvements in hair count.

It is often believed that a continuous therapy with up to three injections per year is necessary to maintain the results achieved from PRP. In practice, most physicians begin with a series of monthly injections and follow that with a maintenance session every 2-3 months indefinitely.  

Expected Results

As mentioned earlier, a continuous PRP treatment is often needed to maintain the results. This is because after quitting the PRP treatment, the improvement seen can fade for some patients and the hair loss can progress again after one year post treatment. Alopecia Areata patients can see significant regrowth with this therapy. This 2015 study recruited 30 patients with Alopecia Areata and after the PRP treatment, up to 70% of the patients experienced regrowth with incredible improvements.

For Androgenic Alopecia, the results are more complicated.

As a standalone treatment, PRP can have significant improvement in hair count and quality  as seen in this study, however this is often observed in patients with less severe AGA scores. Moreover, a continuous treatment may be necessary to keep the results. However, combination therapies of PRP with other treatment options such as Finasteride or Monixidil or hair transplants is shown to be more effective and lead to a higher satisfactory outcome.  

PRP alongside a transplant surgery can increase the survival rate of transplanted hairs and should be considered as an option. PRP in conjunction with Finasteride or Minoxidil will offer better results than PRP alone and might even prolong the efficacy of the PRP treatment as well.  

    Have questions about this treatment, visit our FAQ page. You might find a detailed response there.

    Have questions about this treatment, visit our FAQ page. You might find a detailed response there.

    Review Our Case Studies

    To see the results of the PRP therapy along with other treatment options, review our case studies and read about other patients success stories. 

    You are a good candidate for a PRP treatment if:

     

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    Suffering from Alopecia Areata

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    Suffering from Male or Female pattern Hairloss (AGA) in earlier stages

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    Willing to commit to continuous treatments (considering the cost)

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    Willing to combine the therapy with other treatments (Finasteride , Minoxidil or transplant surgery)

    REFERENCES
    • Alves R, Grimalt R. Randomized Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Half-Head Study to Assess the Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma on the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia. Dermatol Surg. 2016 Apr;42(4):491-7.
    • Kim DH, Je YJ, Kim CD, Lee YH, Seo YJ, Lee JH, Lee Y. Can Platelet-rich Plasma Be Used for Skin Rejuvenation? Evaluation of Effects of Platelet-rich Plasma on Human Dermal Fibroblast. Ann Dermatol. 2011 Nov;23(4):424-31.
    • Uebel CO, da Silva JB, Cantarelli D, Martins P. The role of platelet plasma growth factors in male pattern baldness surgery. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Nov;118(6):1458-66; discussion 1467.
    • Li ZJ, Choi HI, Choi DK, Sohn KC, Im M, Seo YJ, Lee YH, Lee JH, Lee Y. Autologous platelet-rich plasma: a potential therapeutic tool for promoting hair growth. Dermatol Surg. 2012 Jul;38(7 Pt 1):1040-6.
    • Mecklenburg L, Tobin DJ, Müller-Röver S, Handjiski B, Wendt G, Peters EM, Pohl S, Moll I, Paus R. Active hair growth (anagen) is associated with angiogenesis. J Invest Dermatol. 2000 May;114(5):909-16.
    • Li W, Enomoto M, Ukegawa M, Hirai T, Sotome S, Wakabayashi Y, Shinomiya K, Okawa A. Subcutaneous injections of platelet-rich plasma into skin flaps modulate proangiogenic gene expression and improve survival rates. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012 Apr;129(4):858-66.
    • Li ZJ, Choi HI, Choi DK, Sohn KC, Im M, Seo YJ, Lee YH, Lee JH, Lee Y. Autologous platelet-rich plasma: a potential therapeutic tool for promoting hair growth. Dermatol Surg. 2012 Jul;38(7 Pt 1):1040-6.
    • Dohan Ehrenfest DM, Rasmusson L, Albrektsson T. Classification of platelet concentrates: from pure platelet-rich plasma (P-PRP) to leucocyte- and platelet-rich fibrin (L-PRF). Trends Biotechnol. 2009 Mar;27(3):158-67.
    • Alves R, Grimalt R. Randomized Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Half-Head Study to Assess the Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma on the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia. Dermatol Surg. 2016 Apr;42(4):491-7.
    • Gentile P, Garcovich S, Bielli A, Scioli MG, Orlandi A, Cervelli V. The Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Hair Regrowth: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2015 Nov;4(11):1317-23.
    • Alves, Rubina MD; Grimalt, Ramon MD, PhD Platelet-Rich Plasma in Combination With 5% Minoxidil Topical Solution and 1 mg Oral Finasteride for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Half-Head Study, Dermatologic Surgery: January 2018 – Volume 44 – Issue 1 – p 126-130
    • Mapar MA, Shahriari S, Haghighizadeh MH. Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma in the treatment of androgenetic (male-patterned) alopecia: A pilot randomized controlled trial. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2016 Dec;18(8):452-455.
    • Asim Kumar, R.P. Sharma, Suraj Bali, Priyanka Arya ,Role of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy in Alopecia Areata- A Prospective Study, International Journal of Contemporary Medical Research, Volume 3 – Issue 8, pp 2499 – 2502.

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